Friday, February 22, 2008

Nak postponed until April 3

The release of Nak, the animated feature film adaptation of Thailand's famous Mae Nak ghost legend, has been put off until April 3.

It had been promoted for a March 20 release. I don't know the reason for the move, but the April 3 release date makes Nak a family-friendly counterbalance to the gory torture porn of Five Star Production's Art of the Devil 3 (Llong Kong 2), which will also be released on April 3.

Instead of being a scary, vengeful ghost, Nak is recast in this story as a very cute, pink-hued young woman, though still a ghost. She and some wacky ghost friends get up to some adventures with some children in contemporary Bangkok. The CG cartoon is being produced by pop singer-songwriter Boyd Kosiyabong and Sahamongkol Film International. Nak herself is being voiced by Sasikan Apichataworasin. Voice talents from the Sahamongkol stable include Mum Jokmok and Narawan Techratanaprasert.

In the ghost legend, Nak was a young woman in 19th century Phra Khanong, today part of Bangkok but back then a rural village along a canal. Her husband was called off to fight the war against the Burmese, and in his absence, the pregnant Nak died while giving birth. When her husband returned from war, he thinks everything at home is normal, but he doesn't realize his wife and child are ghosts, and Nak goes to scary lengths to keep neighbors from shattering the illusion.

The story was most memorably adapted by Wisit Sasanatieng for Nonzee Nimibutr's 1999 film, Nang Nak. More recently, British director Mark Duffield put a contemporary horror spin on the story with 2005's Ghost of Mae Nak. Over the years, the legend of Mae Nak has been depicted in dozens of Thai films and TV series. There's even an opera. Now there's a cartoon.

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